Listen To Your Heart: Hypertension
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Listen To Your Heart: Hypertension

September 3, 2019

– Welcome to Listen To Your Heart. I’m Bailey DeBarmore, and I’m a cardiovascular epidemiologist. – Welcome, My name is Fawaz
Alenezi, I’m a cardiologist, interested in cardiovascular
imaging and cardio oncology. Today, we will be talking
about hypertension. – Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is often called the silent killer, because there aren’t always symptoms. But high blood pressure is
serious, even if you feel okay, untreated hypertension
can damage your heart, blood vessels in your legs,
your kidneys, and your brain. – So it’s important to have
your blood pressure checked regularly and to know your numbers. Discuss with your doctor
what the numbers mean. Ideal blood pressure is the top number, or systolic blood pressure below 120 mm, and the bottom number, or the diastolic blood
pressure, below 80 mm. – If you’re being treated
for hypertension discuss with your doctor what
your target numbers are. – Bailey, what does the
cardiovascular epidemiology landscape look like for
hypertension right now? – Well, the new hypertension guidelines, released by the American
Heart Association, and the American College of Cardiology, in 2017, made quite a stir. Implications for public
health researchers include using these new categories
to examine risk, and adjusting screening protocols. – Perfect. A big change really happened
for the new guidelines was replacing the term B-Hypertension, and normal blood pressure now is defined as systolic blood pressure
below 108, 120 for systolic, and below 80 for diastolic. Elevated blood pressure is a
systolic between 120 and 129, and the diastolic less than 80. For stage one hypertension,
systolic between 130 to 139, or a diastolic between 80 to 89. And finally, stage two
hypertension is a systolic of 140 or above, or a
diastolic of 90 or above. – There was an argument
that these new hypertension guidelines mean more
people will be treated with blood pressure lowering medication, but the new guidelines aren’t
just arbitrary categories. The last time hypertension guidelines were published was in 2003, and the authors of the new guidelines used data over the past
20 years to reveal that complications occur at
an earlier threshold of blood pressure than previously thought. – So even though the
new guidelines identify more Americans with hypertension, there isn’t an increase
in the number recommended for medication. – That’s right, or at least,
only a very small increase. Paul Muntner and colleagues
published a great paper in Circulation back in January 2008, illustrating the impact
of the new guidelines. The new guidelines emphasize
proper blood pressure readings, which we use in research, but aren’t always used
in clinical practice. As well as addressing
white coat hypertension, masked hypertension, and emphasizing life style changes in clinician and patient discussions. – Well if someone wants to
monitor their blood pressure at home, is there a right way to do that? – There sure is. These steps should also
be used when someone is taking your blood pressure
at the doctor’s office. You want to be sitting
in an upright position, with back support, feet flat on the floor, and legs uncrossed. Your arm with the cuff
should be on a hard surface, supported, and the cuff
should be on your skin, not over your clothes. Lastly, you want to take
more than one measurement. Ideally, three measurements,
about one minute apart. – Perfect. So if you are at the doctor, and your first reading is high, do not hesitate to ask for them to take additional measurements, and speak up if you are
not following these steps to get the most accurate blood pressure. – That’s all we have today, thanks for joining us to
chat about hypertension. – Thanks Bailey, please
return our next video, we will be discussing heart failure.

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